RIP, iPhone dongles? Apple approves Lightning-to-3.5mm cable spec

Apple’s ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) certification has just taken a big step forward, thanks to new specs that allow companies to produce Lightning-to-3.5mm cables. T

The development follows yesterday’s news that Apple is revamping the logos used on MFi products.

It was back in 2016 that Apple made the controversial decision to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack from that year’s flagship iPhone, the iPhone 7. Since then the industry has strongly moved towards Bluetooth headphones as an alternative, and Apple has shown no signs of reversing its decision.

At present, the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE are the only phones that Apple sell which include a traditional headphone jack, and we can’t see Apple including one on any future releases.

But for many, wireless connectivity will never match the sound quality of a physical cable, as wireless headphones will always have to compress music files to a certain extent to allow them to be transmitted, which typically results in a drop in sound quality.

What the new MFi specifications mean (as first reported by 9to5Mac) is that you’ll be able to continue using wired headphones with your iPhone without having to use an unsightly dongle – you’ll just plug a single cable between your headphones and your phone, like in the good old days.

Related: Best Bluetooth headphones

Expanding the USB-C spec

In addition to Lightning-to-3.5mm cables, MFi has also expanded to allow for USB-C ports – although, frustratingly, not USB-C to Lightning cables. This means you’ll still have to use a first-party cable if you want to charge your (Lightning-equipped) iPhone from your (USB-C sporting) MacBook.

However, with USB-C continuing to become the default connector, surely it’s only a matter of time before Apple expands its MFi certification once more to include these variations.

Related: WWDC 2018

How much do you care about MFi, or are you happy to buy any old cable off of Amazon? Let us know @TrustedReviews. 

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